Man, 36, was ‘executed’ on Christmas Eve in front of his young family

Man, 36, who was ‘executed’ in hail of bullets on Christmas Eve was yards from home as he returned from an evening out with wife and small child

  • The victim, 36, was peppered with gunfire on return to his £1.5m Battersea home
  • He was as pronounced dead at the scene and the at large gunman fled on foot  
  • No arrests have been made, detectives have launched 146th 2019 murder probe 

A father shot dead on Christmas Eve just yards from his £1.5million home was tragically killed in front of his wife and young child, Scotland Yard has revealed.

The unnamed victim, 36, was peppered with a spray of bullets on his return from an evening out with his family at around 9pm on Tuesday.

As the gunman fled the scene of the slaughter on Battersea Church Road, south London, emergency services were scrambled.

But, despite their efforts and those of a health worker neighbour to save the father, he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made, however Metropolitan Police detectives have launched their 146th murder probe of the year – the worst on record for 11 years. 

The unnamed victim, 36, was peppered with a spray of bullets on his return from an evening out with his family at around 9pm on Tuesday (crime scene pictured)

As the gunman fled the scene of the slaughter on Battersea Church Road, south London, emergency services were scrambled

As the gunman fled the scene of the slaughter on Battersea Church Road, south London, emergency services were scrambled 

DCI Jamie Stevenson, of the Specialist Crime Command,said: ‘Our investigation is in the very early stages and we are still working to establish what the motive could be that has led to a man losing his life in such a horrific way, on Christmas Eve, in front of his family.

‘They have been devastated by this horrible event and are being supported by specialist officers.

‘We know that the victim was returning home with his wife and young child following an evening out, when he was shot just yards from his home.’

Julian Stratton, 51, was at his parents’ home just metres from the scene and when he said he heard the deafening gunfire. 

He said: ‘Then there were five gunshots. Four back-to-back, “bang, bang, bang, bang”, then a pause before the final shot.’

‘The shots were heard by many neighbours, but being Christmas Eve, most people thought they were fireworks, at first.’

Police and ambulance were scrambled to the scene in south west London around 15 minutes after panicked residents heard 'incredibly loud' bangs

Police and ambulance were scrambled to the scene in south west London around 15 minutes after panicked residents heard ‘incredibly loud’ bangs

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He added: ‘My neighbour’s partner is a health worker. He went to help the man, who was lying on his driveway, before the police and ambulances arrived.

‘It is thought that one round entered the victim’s neck, but where the other four ended up are unknown.

‘We think the man is Eastern European but don’t know exactly where he is from.

‘My parents have lived here for more than a decade. They are surprised this has happened.’

A car was pictured being taken away from the crime scene.

Police have moved to reassure Battersea residents that there is no immediate risk from the gunman.  

As much of the world celebrates Christmas and looks ahead to 2020, Londoners will reflect on a bloodbath year of horrific stabbings and gun violence.